January 24, 2012
The concept makes sense… the longer you do a job and are in a role, the more that is expected of you and unless you continue to take on new challenges and up your game, your value decreases. In order to expand skills and consistently perform at the top of your game, there are stretch periods needed to flex new muscles and question/explore ways of accomplishing important goals.
When this concept was articulated to me last month our my leadership training session, it also hit me right between the eyes that I have two choices. One – stay in role and actively explore new and challenging opportunities that go beyond the “expected”.. or two — take on a completely new role that pushes me into unfamiliar territory — even areas I don’t know — and work through the incompetence toward a significant period of growth. That incompetence — known as the “pit of incompetence” is a very uncomfortable place to be — but is essential to continued growth.
Wow. What does that look like? As the new year brings new opportunities to “reset” I have no choice but to embrace the creation of big goals. That may look like new work opportunities. It may look like articulating current role goals I’ve been afraid to share with others before. As Bahram Akradi – the Founder of LifeTime Fitness notes in one of his Life Wisdom articles, “success in most endeavors comes from clear, precise and thoughtful setting of goals, combined with a real commitment to making them happen – even if it takes a while.”
Bahram notes too that 1) setting clear goals and having accountability around them, as well as 2) both in personal and professional life establishing a habit of finding and stretching ones comfort zone and inviting others around us into the process are both essential to the “culture of growth, a culture of celebrating successes.”
I couldn’t have said it better than Akradi: “Expect Resistance, and greet it with excitement when it comes! That’s your opportunity for growth, right there.”
October 22, 2009
Feeling pretty lucky lately, that my job affords me the opportunities it does — flexibility, work from home when necessary, an office right down the street from the kids’ school, constant challenge and working with some incredible people who believe in the power of technology to contribute to a changed and better world.
In addition to all of that, however, one of the very coolest aspects of the job is how we get to give back, to serve. Here in Microsoft public sector, we live and work in the Washington DC region. Those who serve our nation are also our customers, our neighbors. Giving back to this community should be part of our corporate culture, our citizenship charter. And it is. In very small ways, we are able to support some incredible organizations…
For the 3rd year in a row, we’re working with the USO of Metro DC to bring entertainment and fun to the troops and their families..In September, Santa came early — with some Radio City Music Hall Rockettes — to share the news that the Radio City Christmas Spectacular is coming to DC in December…and Microsoft and the USO will be hosting a full show for 8200+ troops and their families…
Santa also made a stop at Fort Myers to say hey to some troops and families…
Recently, I’ve also been introduced to the incredible work of the American Red Cross of the National Capital Area.. Serving on the organization’s Fire and Ice Gala communications committee has opened my eyes to the work this group does day in and day out to support our military families in the region — with everything from basic supplies to airport welcomes to sitting by a wounded soldier’s bed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
The Gala was an amazing evening of honoring our military and their families. General Peter Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, and his wife Beth, helped to honor our wounded from every branch of the service. CBS Correspondent Kimberly Dozier spoke eloquently of the service members commitment to duty, honor, country. Dozier herself was injured and near death, due to a roadside bomb in Iraq, while she was covering the war.
It was an honor to be part of this evening… and to raise funds and awareness for one of the most essential causes in our area.
Here are a few pictures from the night!
October 20, 2009
It came and went so quickly….
I could be talking about our 20th High School class reunion, and in part, I am. It was an evening of laid back, unpretentious goodness.
But I’m also talking about the last 20 years of life. wow. It actually hit me that weekend. There is only one chance at life. No do-overs (for the most part). And it goes by fast. The decisions we make in our late teens and 20s will impact us in one way or another for years to come. In schooling. Love life. Career choices. I am stating the obvious. Yet, it’s not until you get to your mid 30s that you can really look back and see the collective impact of a number of choices along the way of life. Starting with..where to go off to school? And then…What job to take? Can I move away from the only thing I know as home? How long to stay at each job? If the second date could be worth it? With whom to stay in touch?
We attempt to reflect and simultaneously tell our selves there is no time to look back. Yet, we are where we are and who we are because of the big and small decisions along the road – and a big dose of Sovereignty that we (at least I) can’t quite explain. I’ve realized since that reunion weekend how fortunate I have been to have certain people in my life over the first half of it. How I am, in part, who I am because of role they have played in my life. Despite some of my choices, they have truly been God’s gracious gifts to me.
The coming years will speed by as my daughter grows into her own woman. How I wish to help her avoid some of the pain and angst it may take along her way, as she blossoms into who she is in Christ and figures out her own path. In typical Mia fashion, she’ll likely have some surprises for us — maybe rejecting the safe, the staid, the predictable…
She’s got “her whole life ahead of her” we so easily say.. Yet it will move lightening fast. I just know it. God, give her meaning. And help her mom continue to find it afresh in her own second half of life.